Huub Vlemmings on the work of Christiaan Drost


In order to see it, it has to be remade


Today is the 14th of October and I am writing this while being in mid-air. My flight is from Norway - Tromsø to be precise - back to Düsseldorf. A lot of times when Christiaan and I were together while traveling from one place to another, we discussed his work, its potential and possibilities.

A few days before this flight Christiaan contacted me to ask if I had the opportunity to write something to support, guide or in any other way contribute -textually- to his exhibition In Order To See It, It Has To Be Remade. I immediately thought that the possiblity of him contacting me over such distance somehow relates to what I will write about.

To be able to comprehend the distance I am travelling in this moment, we rely on a mental image or model we have of the world. We make a less detailed, or to use a term more suiting; a global image of the world. After this process we are able to draw a line between Tromsø and Düsseldorf which makes us able to understand the dimensions relating to this specific flight. When we deal with a city turning into a dot to which I am navigating, we also deal with the transformation from earth into an image. This transformation is paired with both loss and gain of information.

To work with scale or models, is to work with a process of loss and gain. It can change the specific into the global and vice versa. A model is always a simulation of reality, but is also the reality of a simulation itself: it gives us the possibility to comprehend something that is too big for us to see, or to get an idea of something that is too microscopical for the bare eye. Next to this a model gives us the opportunity to simulate an event; a model in this sense can recreate an event or can be hypothetical, a ‘what if..’.

It is through re-rendering, reworking and reprocessing that material both loses and gains content and context.

I am not compelled to ask if you could lend me your eyes or even worse; to let you see through mine. Instead I urge you to use them yourself, and both visually and mentally (re-)construct the images made by Drost. By doing so, you become a participant in the process of these images finding their way into reality. Because to be able to see them, they have to be remade.


Huub Vlemmings, mid-air, 14 oktober 2015